Online dementia course

Understanding responsive behaviours

4 hours

3 weeks

Cost free

Certificate of Completion

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Increase your knowledge of caring for a person experiencing dementia-related responsive behaviours and explore how people with dementia may express their needs through behaviour, rather than word.

Suitable for people working in:

Mixed , Respite Care , Community Care , Residential Care

responsive behaviours course

Learning Outcomes

By completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the concept of responsive behaviours in dementia
  • Describe the impact of responsive behaviours on the person experiencing them and their carers
  • Explain the value of using frameworks and models to address responsive behaviours
  • Outline the key areas and questions needed for a comprehensive behaviour assessment
  • Explain the use and value of preferred assessment tools

  • Outline the assessment process and questions you could use for the person in the case study, focusing particularly on their disruptive vocalisation behaviour
  • Outline some key factors to consider when developing an intervention plan for a person with responsive behaviours
  • Use the assessment data to guide the selection of interventions that meet the goals of care and achieve measurable outcomes
  • Differentiate ways to demonstrate a person-centred approach
  • Identify possible interventions to try in the VDB case study
  • Explain the important features of evaluating interventions to determine the level of effectiveness
  • Outline some key elements related to the assessment of a person with dementia experiencing agitation
  • Outline the key elements to include when assessing a person with wandering behaviour
  • Use the Risky Wandering and Adverse Outcomes (RWAO) model to suggest the probable consequences of wandering behaviour in the case study
  • Select possible interventions that evidence suggests may be useful to trial in managing wandering behaviour
  • Identify successful interventions used in the case study and indicate how effectiveness could be determined.
  • Outline the key elements to include in the assessment of a person with mood and/ or behaviour suggesting an underlying depression, or possibly comorbid anxiety
  • Use the NDB model and case study to suggest probable consequences of depressed or anxious mood
  • Select evidence-informed interventions to address behavioural changes related to depressed or anxious mood
  • Outline the key approaches to consider when caring for someone from an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander background
  • Outline the key elements to include in the assessment of a person responding with aggressive behaviours
  • Identify the probable factors contributing to aggressive behaviour, using the Progressively Lowered Stress Threshold Model
  • Select evidence-informed interventions to trial in managing aggressive behaviour.
  • Identify any successful interventions used in Jayita’s case study and indicate how the effectiveness of these could be determined
  • Outline the key approaches to consider when caring for someone from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background

In this course, you will complete the following modules:


What are responsive behaviours?

This module introduces responsive behaviours, the concept of behaviour communicating needs and how using frameworks can help you to address...

What are responsive behaviours?


Identifying and collecting information

Introducing the key questions and practices that are part of a comprehensive behaviour assessment, with a focus on vocally disruptive...

Identifying and collecting information


Planning and implementing strategies

This module steps you through how you can use a person-centred approach to design an appropriate system of intervention for...

Planning and implementing strategies


Evaluating effectiveness of strategies

This module steps you through the methods and processes you can use to identify whether a particular intervention has been...

Evaluating effectiveness of strategies


Case study – wandering behaviour

Using a case study, we describe wandering in the context of dementia, explore how to use tools and models to...

Case study – wandering behaviour


Case study – anxiety and depression

This module explores the characteristics of depression and anxiety in the context of dementia and the cultural considerations when caring...

Case study – anxiety and depression


Case study – aggressive behaviour

We consider the nature of aggressive behaviour and how identifying the underlying issues allows interventions to be trialled. Caring for...

Case study – aggressive behaviour

Continuing Professional Education

Completion of this course provides 4 hours of continuing professional education. A Certificate of Completion is awarded upon successful completion.

The Understanding Responsive Behaviours online course was developed at DTA, QUT by Prof Elizabeth Beattie, Liz Miles and Sandra Jeavons, with Martin van de Weyer and the Smart Sparrow team. This resource is based on a training program originally developed by the Queensland Dementia Training Study Centre at QUT.

The team acknowledges members of the expert panel who shared their advice and insights in video segments throughout the course:

  • Professor Nancy Pachana, Co-Director, Ageing Mind Initiative, The University of Queensland
  • Dr Eddy Strivens, Regional Geriatrician and Clinical Director, Older Persons Subacute and Rehabilitation Services, Cairns & Hinterland Health Service
  • Dr David Lie, Director, Older Persons Mental Health Service, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane

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Benefits of learning with DTA

  • Increase your knowledge of dementia
  • Real life examples to help you put knowledge into practice
  • Learn anytime, anywhere
  • Phone and Tablet friendly
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Cost Free for Learners

Getting Started

After enrolment, your course will appear in your Dashboard under My Enrolments. You will also receive an email with instructions to get started.

Learning with DTA

Online courses contain modules that have been grouped together based on their topic area. Each module within a course must be completed and in the defined order.

Modules can be completed individually and in any order. You may choose to complete any module, based on your areas of interest.

Some modules may have prerequisites. If a module has a prerequisite you’ll need to complete that first to ensure you have the essential prior knowledge required. Modules with a prerequisite will be clearly marked.

A Certificate of completion is awarded on successful completion of a DTA course or module. You may use this certificate toward your Continuing Professional Development and Education (CPD/CPEE). Access your Certificates in your Dashboard.

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